To the Editor,
It’s unfortunate that Mr. Langseth’s Letter to the Editor is spreading misinformation regarding a proposal to replace the Rhode Island T.F. Green International …
To the Editor,
It’s unfortunate that Mr. Langseth’s Letter to the Editor is spreading misinformation regarding a proposal to replace the Rhode Island T.F. Green International Airport’s existing 80-year old air cargo facility with a new facility on the airport property.
The existing air cargo facilities near Airport Road, which are near the end of their expected lifespan, are currently utilized by FedEx and UPS for five air cargo operations per day, which, should the project be completed, would increase to an estimated seven operations per day based on estimates of the existing cargo tenants. Despite Mr. Langseth’s assertions, seven flights a day does not constitute a “cargo hub” nor would it create the nuisances he asserts in his letter.
He does himself and his community a disservice by needlessly engaging in the promotion of false information and hyperbole. Furthermore, Mr. Langseth appears to be confusing RIAC’s on-airport proposal to replace existing cargo facilities with that of NorthPoint Development’s I-95 Gateway project on Commerce Drive, with which RIAC has no association, nor has RIAC even been informed of the prospective tenant for that development.
Mr. Langseth further alleges that a RIAC environmental consultant, is engaged in a “deception” intended to trick to the community. These comments are misplaced and misleading, as AECOM is a national firm that has a stellar reputation and RIAC is pleased to work with them. Far from being a “secret,” RIAC has been open and transparent regarding the potential to enhance air cargo development throughout a public Master Plan process which began in 2019 and included extensive community outreach and public meeting to discuss this and all potential airport developments as cargo and passenger activity evolves over the next 20 years. Since that time RIAC has been keeping Warwick officials well informed about this potential project, which would commence with an environmental assessment (EA) that would solicit public feedback in late 2022 or early 2023. A primary purpose of the EA is to inform the community regarding the potential project and identify any issues of concern that might require a more detailed environmental impact statement (EIS.)
The truth of the matter is that a new on-airport cargo facility would not even remotely be considered a hub, and would route truck transit directly on to the Airport Connector, rather than impact local roadways. Most importantly, this project would only move forward with the approval of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) following an environmental assessment, which could take up to a year to complete. If approved by the FAA, construction of an air cargo facility, expected to increase air cargo activity from five flights a day to seven flights a day, would commence in 2024.
Although the airport master plan indicates the potential for a future phase of construction, there is no guarantee that an additional phase of the project will be required during the next 20 years. In short, the City of Warwick can be assured that this project would not begin until such time an environmental assessment, including input from a well-informed public, has been completed. Should Mr. Langseth or any other individual have questions regarding the airport master plan, we would invite them to reach out to us to ask questions first, and avoid spreading misinformation which only does a disservice to the City of Warwick and State of Rhode Island.
John J. Goodman
Assistant Vice President
Media and Public Relations
Rhode Island Airport Corporation